In keeping with the theme of nutrition and how it relates to spinal and overall health, I will highlight potassium, a common and crucial mineral found in the human body. Your body uses potassium to support a whole range of its most crucial functions- neurological signaling, kidney processes and muscle movement. It helps regulate the heart and its distribution of blood throughout the body. While it is recognized for all these effects, a less well-known benefit might be its key role in maintaining bone health. Potassium’s role finds itself in the middle of the fight to maintain fluid balance within and surrounding the cells.
As metabolic processes create acid byproducts, your blood, tissue and other fluids contribute alkaline compounds that they have captured and stored from food to create a steady pH balance. Your bones contain alkaline reserves that act as the last line of defense: when alkaline levels run low in the blood and other fluids, the bones can transfer these reserves to maintain balance. Bone structures are weakened when they are called upon to transfer their alkaline reserves.
This is where potassium steps in. Certain compounds contained within potassium act as alkalizing agents; they can neutralize the acid byproducts. They can be called upon to create fluid balance instead of draining the reserves from your bones, making them weaker. Lifestyle and national dieting trends have both contributed to a chronic shortage of potassium levels in the population. Convenient eating, processed foods and a shift away from eating well-sourced produce puts everyone in danger of potassium deficiency. The recommended daily amount for potassium intake is 4,700 mg for adults. Here are some easy food options that add significant potassium into your diet:
A medium sized baked potato = 800 mg
A medium sized banana= 450 mg
½ cup of avocado= 680 mg
½ cup of tomato paste= 1,221 mg
As we get older, we are already struggling from other factors that seek to weaken our bones. Potassium is a great tool for keeping your bones at optimal strength. Let us help you get the right amount of potassium into your diet. At Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture we practice a complementary approach to health that starts with nutrition. We then build upon this base line of a healthy diet with chiropractic treatment, acupuncture and exercise. If you are interested in finding out more about nutrition and its role in an overall body of health call our office in Brooklyn at (718) 398-3100 .
Karen A. Thomas D.C., L.Ac.